Our favorite Slate writer, William Saletan, is a reasonable guy. He just wants to masturbate without the soul-crushing guilt associated with disobeying the will of God. As such, he's got a plan to make choking the chicken right with God.
Saletan (no, that is not him at left) knows that God struck down Onan for spilling his seed upon the sand instead of his wife, and every Christian faith strictly forbids masturbation as a sexual act not involved in reproduction. But in between spank-the-monkey sessions, Saletan found this study by Australian scientist David Greening, which suggests that daily ejaculation can reduce the number of damaged sperm and improve sperm motility, both of which are key to conception.
If your wife is available, and she's game for sex every night, great. But what if she's tired, sore, or not in the mood? What if you have to work late, and she has to go to sleep? What if one of you is out of town? What if your son can't sleep and needs to be with Mommy? Or what if medical advice to have daily sex stresses her out? From a fertility standpoint, says one expert, that kind of pressure "may add even more anxiety and do more harm than good."
However, he says, there is another way for men to improve their sperm without relying on a woman...
Saletan argues that if
one is only masturbating in service to God's will — getting someone pregnant — and not just because it feels good, the Pope should be fine with it because then masturbation is strictly in service to reproduction.
The Catechism defines masturbation as "the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure." But if stimulating your organs promotes fertility and family formation-the "procreative and unitive purposes" of sexual pleasure, as stipulated by the Church-is it OK to enjoy it? By my reading, the answer is yes.
Saletan believes the Catholic Church should thus sign off on male masturbation (not female, of course, as that serves no reproductive purpose) so he can sleep easy, knowing that his private practices have been cleared by some old guy in Rome.
Wank Thyself [Slate]
Related: Frequent Ejaculation Improves Sperm Quality [Cosmos]
[Image via candid]